Guest blogger Péter Krekó from Political Capital, a think tank in Budapest, reacts to Transparify’s recent report, and highlights the country context in Hungary.
Political Capital’s funding transparency recently was assessed by Transparify, and the rating was not particularly flattering. Political Capital does embrace transparency and has nothing to hide about its finances. Given that our institute only receives project funding from its donors, and no core funding, we had put the list of donors on our thematic project websites, here, here and here. We also highlighted our funders with every study, in our press releases, and at our public events.
Transparify's ratings, however, offered a good reminder to make this information even more easily available, therefore we have recently published the list of our Foundation donors on our main website. Additionally, most of our donors do publish information about funding they give to us on their respective websites. We are currently in touch with our donors to ensure that they all agree to publish more information. We are committed to increase our transparency to at least a 3-star level.
At the same time, it is also important to note the regional and national context of transparency. In Hungary for example, there have been several governmental attacks against NGOs and think-tanks over their foreign funding, following the Russian model of action against NGOs. While we are still embracing transparency, as most of the NGO actors in Hungary do, the readers of the study should also understand that the “dangers” of transparency nowadays definitely are higher in some countries in Eastern Europe.
For more information on the Political Capital Institute, see www.politicalcapital.hu